Wednesday, February 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


A cocktail of pesticides in mineral water bottles
Tribune News Service


  • CSE analysed 17 brands sold in the Capital and 13 brands in Mumbai. All of these contained five different pesticide residues.

  •  The concentration levels of pesticide residues ranged from 79 times to 104 times. Most commonly found pesticide residues were Lindane, DDT, malthion and chlopyrifos.

  •  The least contaminated bottled brands were ironically the ones that are least sold.

  •  The samples contained enough contaminants to cause cancer, liver and kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system, birth defects and disruption of the immune system. 

New Delhi, February 4
Mineral water bottles may contain a cocktail of pesticides, if the findings of a study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment are to be believed.
The CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML) analysed 17 brands in the national Capital and 13 brands sold in street-corner shops in Mumbai.

The results showed that almost all of these contained five different pesticide residues harmful to health and far exceeding the specified standards for drinking water.

The shocking report also mentions that the least contaminated bottled brands are ironically the ones that are least sold. The largest selling brand contained the third largest pesticide residues in the Capital, CSE Director, Ms. Sunita Narain, told newspersons here toady.

Ms. Narain pointed out that the concentration levels of pesticide residues ranged from 79 times to 104 times. The study was conducted between July 2002 and January 2003 on randomly selected sealed bottles bought from the markets.

CSE officials said that the samples contained enough contaminants to cause cancer, liver and kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system, birth defects and disruption of immune system in the long run.

“Pesticides don’t kill immediately, but can cause irreparable health disorders as they accumulate in body fat”, said Ms. Narain. The lab tests in Delhi showed that each sample had 36.4 times more pesticides than the stipulated levels while the Mumbai samples were a shade better.

Most commonly found pesticide residues were Lindane, DDT, malthion and chlopyrifos. It was also pointed out that the CSE had used European norms because the standards set by Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) were “vague and undefined”.

The study reveals that the quality of mineral water bottles sold in Mumbai was better than that sold in Delhi but the worst offender in Mumbai had a pesticide contamination which was 16.7 times higher than the prescribed level but far lower than that in the brands sold in Delhi.

CSE teams had also collected raw water samples, mostly from the bore wells located in industrial and agricultural areas in Delhi and in surrounding areas of Shahibabad, Noida and Ghaziabad.

The raw water source for the brands sold in Mumbai happened to be municipal water.

The result of the study indicated that many of the brands did not use their micro filtration facilities to purify raw water while some brands did eliminate 80 per cent of the contaminants.



When petrol stations cheat you drop by drop
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 4
Despite the increase in the number of petrol and diesel outlets and claims of oil companies about offering undiluted products and the specified quantity, complaints of adulteration and irregularities in measurement are still rampant. As a result, the consumer seems to be always on the lookout for an `honest’ outlet.

The authorities have been able to pin down at least two petroleum outlets here in the past few months which had been allegedly not only selling adulterated products but had been involved in irregularities in measurement and supply.

A team of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas raided an outlet in the posh Sector 12 here yesterday and sealed it after certain irregularities were found by the officials of the anti-adulteration cell of the ministry. It is reported that the outlet had at least three booth stands which had been supplying 60 to 130 ml petrol less in a measured quantity of five litres to the consumers. The team lifted some samples and sealed the outlet. This is not the first case of its kind.

A team of officials had taken similar action against an outlet functioning in Sector 16 here a few months ago. It is learnt that the petroleum company also cancelled the allotment of the station as it was found to be involved in various irregularities for the second time. The raiding team had also sealed one station in Mahendragarh district last Saturday.

Although the petroleum and oil companies have deputed their raiding teams to conduct sudden checks, reports of irregularities, especially short supply to consumers, are quite common.

Raj Kumar, a resident of Sector 15-A here, said various outlets do not give the full measure to the consumers and tend to save 15 to 30 paise against every Rs 100. Many of the stations had not installed the electronic machines and thus the consumers do not get to know the exact amount of supply against the payment made, he said. He complained that outlets kept a good margin on the rate of Mobil oil (2T) used in two-wheelers. He knew a large number of persons who kept changing the petrol and diesel outlet as they were not sure whose supply was pure and perfect.

According to District Food and Supply Office sources, Faridabad has about a total of 47 pumps. Of these, 18 were located in the town itself. The Food and Supply authorities claim that they check at least 10 to 15 pumps each month to detect any irregularity with regard to weight and measurement. An official of the department admitted that complaints of short supply of petroleum products had been common. About five pumps have already been indicted in January this year.



Justice on her mind
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4
Poise, perfection and being politically correct, pre-requisites for a beauty queen, have percolated their way up in the newly crowned Miss India, Nikita Anand. While Indian Culture scores with this 19-year-old, it is the judiciary that has not found favour. In a meeting with the media persons here today, Ms. Anand opted to change, “our legal system”. For, “ I strongly believe that justice delayed is justice denied and, if given one thing to change, would certainly take steps to make it (judicial system) more effective and fast”.

Paying tributes to the rich Indian cultural heritage, “I think that among the biggest strengths our country has are the strong family ties and rich cultural heritage we have inherited from our ancestors.” Challenge for Nikita is, “staying firm to your roots”.

Inclined towards modelling and designing, the beauty queen has dashed hopes of making a foray into Bollywood. Quizzed whether she would follow in the footsteps of her much celebrated predecessors, Aishwarya Rai and Sushmita Sen, Nikita, her gift of politically correct speech intact, quipped, “Even as I have no inclination, for the present, to act in films, I don’t feel that girls who have joined films were wrong”.

Choosing to concentrate on fashion designing for a profession, Nikita has her eyes focused on the next big crown. Having won the Miss India title, she is all set to represent the country at the Miss Universe pageant scheduled later this year. Confessing, “Currently I have to work hard for the Miss Universe pageant”, Nikita states, “A strong belief that anything is possible, provided it is coupled with determination and hard work,” is her strength.



Auction of shopping sites: Too late 
for taxpayers’ comfort
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, February 4
The local municipality is on a high after mopping up a huge sum of money from the latest auction of its 14 booth sites in its ambitious Vyapar Sadan shopping complex on the Delhi-Mehrauli road. As much as Rs 1.3 crore was collected from the auction, held a couple of days back. According to officials of the local body, the entire amount would be spent on developmental projects.

The insiders in the municipality say that the auction collection had surpassed their expectations. The officials were counting on raising about Rs 70 lakh.

However, under the surface of the apparent excitement lie uncouth details, which should put the government machinery to shame.

The details reveal the attitude of the municipality officials, especially when they are supposed to be wise and responsible with the taxpayers’ money. Unfortunately, the authorities woke up too late, after several shopping malls set up by private builders like the DLF Universal Ltd and MGF had become functional on the Gurgaon-Mehrauli road, just near the proposed shopping centre of the municipality.

Had the auctions been undertaken in time, the municipality would have been able to at least retrieve the sum which it had paid as compensation while acquiring land for the complex.

After all, it has been more than two decades since the compensation money was paid. The body could have earned a huge amount in interest had it parked the funds in a bank.

Or it could have invested in some profit-making venture, rather than allowing the money of the public to gather dust.

The municipality had acquired 12 acres of land from different private parties for setting up the shopping complex in the early 1980s. Naturally, the compensation money given was not from the personal savings account of the functionaries of the municipality or other government departments.

As many as 116 shops-cum-offices, 56 booths, six IT towers and commercial towers, three commercial buildings, one hotel site, seven kiosks, five multipurpose booths and four PUCs were provided for in the shopping complex plan.

As per the plan, plots were carved out and were to be sold in auction. Those successful in the auction bids were to set up the proposed shops in a stipulated time. Even after the latest auction of a clutch of sites, a majority of the sites are still lying vacant.

The authorities slumbered away in the initial years of floating the complex and auctioned the first batch of the sites sometime in 1985. For reasons best known to the authorities, the bulk of the sites was not auctioned. The municipality got its act together only recently when the district administration reportedly intervened, resulting in the latest auctions.

To the astonishment of a majority of those who were successful in the earlier auctions, the municipality has not completed the constructions even though several years have lapsed since the deadline.

The irresponsible approach of the municipality becomes clear when one considers that it had always pleaded that it lack funds for not undertaking developmental projects.



Truckers to have no truck with stingy MCD 
Syed Ali Ahmed

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4
Private transporters, whose trucks are hired by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to cart away garbage from “dhalao” to landfill sites, have threatened to stop work if their dues amounting to several lakhs are not cleared by the civic body immediately.

The transporters claim they have not been paid the agreed amount for the past one year despite having repeatedly approached the authorities concerned.

According to the transporters, the MCD had hired the trucks to carry garbage as the corporation was facing a shortage of trucks. At the time of hiring the trucks it was promised that payment would be made every month but for some inexplicable reason the authorities kept on deferring the payment. The truck operators met the deputy commissioners in the respective districts for payment but were rebuffed on the ground that the corporation was facing a financial crunch.

Subsequently, the truck operators met the senior officials concerned in the accounts and finance departments where they were told that the Deputy Commissioner was empowered to make the payment. After running from pillar to post now the truck operators have decided to renege on the contract with the MCD as they do not have money even for buying diesel to ply their vehicles, the sources said.

The aforesaid is to be seen against the backdrop of Standing Committee Chairman Ram Babu Sharma claiming that he has managed to secure crores of rupees from the Delhi Government and other sources to run the corporation smoothly. He had further claimed that there would be no dearth of finance for maintaining the trucks. Ms Ambika Soni, Rajya Sabha MP from the Capital, had given Rs 94 lakh and another MP Rs 1crore from their funds for the corporation. Besides, the Delhi Government had given crores of rupees.

Truck operators said the Chairman of the Standing Committee had proposed that Rs 2 crore be provided in the current budget for funding the foreign tour for 134 councillors and senior officers, but no arrangement had been made to clear the dues of the truckers. They said if the MCD wanted it could easily pay the truckers from the discretionary funds of the Chairman and the Mayor. The fund was recently increased from Rs 5 crore to Rs 6 crore.



PCR ferried DCP to office, did not 
rush victims to hospital
Vigilance probe ordered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4
A vigilance inquiry has been ordered into the Azadpur accident in which the official vehicle of Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Police Control Room) was involved. One person was killed while another is fighting for his life in the Hindu Rao Hospital.

The inquiry was ordered today to ascertain whether the official vehicle of the Additional DCP jumped the red light and whether the officer was sitting in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Also, it will be inquired why the victims were not taken to the hospital in the official vehicle of the Additional DCP and why he did not rein in his driver when he allegedly jumped the red light.

If the PCR van stationed near the accident spot had rushed Rahul Sharma, the deceased, to a hospital, his life could have been saved. This was the opinion of a number of eye-witnesses and even the police officers who said that the initial and crucial half-an-hour was lost. The police sources said that when the Ambassador hit the two victims — Rahul Sharma and Amit Verma — the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr P.S. Bhushan, was in the car. A PCR van immediately arrived at the accident site but did not rush the victims to the hospital. Instead, it took Mr Bhushan to his office. The second PCR van arrived at the spot after half-an-hour and took the victims to the hospital. Officially, the police continue to maintain that the DCP was not in the vehicle at the time of the accident. 



HUDA dashes residents’ plans
Jatinder Sharma

Rohtak, February 4
The district administration today shattered the hopes of those who had made unsuccessful attempts to retain their residential plots acquired by HUDA in Tau Devi Lal Nagar and Vishal Nagar localities behind the new bus stand. HUDA is acquiring land for Sector 4.

The old residents of these colonies had petitioned the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, against the acquisition of their houses after the HUDA authorities issued a notice under Section 6 of the Land Acquisition Act. The Chief Minister advised the district authorities to conduct another survey of the land that was to be acquired by HUDA and told them to exempt the existing houses from being acquired.

With a view to exploit the situation, certain plot holders raised structures on their land to thwart HUDA from acquiring their land. The administration today swung into action and demolished nearly 35 such houses, which were raised in the past few days.

The Estate Officer-cum-SDO(Civil), HUDA, Mr G. L. Yadav, told the NCR Tribune that houses which were in existence for the past 10 to 12 years had not been demolished. He denied that the demolition was selective. “Only those houses which were constructed during the past few days have been demolished”, he said.



LPG suppliers hoarding cylinders, charging extra
Abhay Jain

Gurgaon, February 4
Following the recent announcement by the central government that the rates of the LPG cylinder for domestic use could be increased in the near future, the suppliers of different gas agencies here have allegedly hoarded the cylinders and have created an artificial shortage.

The black marketing of cylinders rules the roost these days. Cylinders are available on the payment of an additional Rs 25 to Rs 100 per cylinder. The residents, seething with anger on the indifferent attitude of the district administration, ask how the cylinders are being sold in the black market if there is a shortage of supply. There are also complaints of delivery of underweight cylinders.

The officials of the District Food and Supplies Department said that there was no sale of cylinders in the black market in the city. They would act on any specific complaint lodged with the department, said one official.

However, Mr Ravinder Jain a former member of the District Consumer Forum, has complained to the Deputy Commissioner about the shortage and black marketing of cylinders in the city.

Stating his own experience, he mentioned that he went to a gas agency godown to get a cylinder. When the cylinder was supplied to him, he got it weighed and found that it was 3.5 kg less, worth Rs 63, than the standard weight. As the seal of the cylinder was intact, it appeared that the local agent had tampered with it.

Mr Jain has also mentioned in his letter to the DC that the suppliers of the gas agencies are charging up to Rs 25 per cylinder over the original price for delivering it at the residences.

He has requested the authorities to look into the matter seriously and direct the Food and Supplies Controller and the Inspector, Weights and Measures, to inspect all godowns and check whether they had hoarded the cylinders. It must also be ensured that weight of the cylinders supplied is proper.

He suggested that the suppliers should be directed to affix the weight on every filled cylinder and must keep a weighing machine in each delivery van so that it could be weighed by the customers if needed at the point of



70 per cent politicians are corrupt: Bitta
Our Correspondent

Gurgaon, February 4
The president of the All India Anti-Terrorists Front, Mr Maninderjit Singh Bitta, exhorted politicians to shun petty politics and work for the welfare of the country. He said that more than 70 per cent politicians of the country in all political parties have become absolutely corrupt. Their self-interest gets priority putting even national integration at stake.

Mr Bitta was addressing a gathering in a programme, `An evening devoted to the martyrs’, organised by a cultural organisation, Nistha Sanskrit Manch, here yesterday.

He regretted that the politicians have started mixing patriotism with politics. Patriotism has nothing to do with politics. He said that our martyrs had fought against the English not to get the seats of power but to get Independence.



One out of 10 senior citizens in the 
world is an Indian
Jeevna Bhinder

New Delhi, February 4
Believe it or not, of all the senior citizens in the world, one out of 10 is an Indian. By official estimates, there are 77 million senior citizens and this is expected to grow up to 150 million in the next 25 years.

The decline of morbidity, reduction in birth rate and decrease in the life expectancy have all resulted in the increasing population of senior citizens. Change in the values and lifestyles have weakened the traditional family-based support system for the aged, leading to the growth of Homes for the Aged.

Aware of the problems of the elderly, several voluntary organisations in collaboration with the social welfare department of the government of NCT have set up a large number of homes for the senior citizens.

However, few know about their existence due to lack of publicity or a concerted effort by the authorities to inform the public.

Some of these homes are being run by The Christian Friend in Need Society, Sandhya and Senior Citizens Home Complex Welfare Society. These homes are not only insufficient but are also ill-equipped to cater to the specialised needs of the elderly.

Taking care of the elderly should be the responsibility of the state, this view is echoed by a number of senior citizens contacted by the ‘NCR Tribune’ recently.

HelpAge India has implemented over 300 income generation projects for the senior citizens like goat-rearing, candle and agarbatti-making which provide them independence and dignity.

The area office has sponsored 2600 intra-ocular lens implantation to the old people at a cost of Rs 15.50 lakh during 2001-02. Improving the conditions of the elderly is up on the agenda of R&D wing of HelpAge located in New Delhi. The staff of this department are going through the training to deal with the older generations to understand them and fulfil their needs.

This organisation has done a lot for the welfare of senior citizens by supporting various projects on ophthalmic care, mobile medi-care units, income generation scheme, homes for the aged and disaster mitigation. Mobile medi-care scheme is going to be started soon.

The scheme would comprise a doctor and para -medical staff which will visit different localities to solve their problems.

Nav Prabhat is a special programme for the senior citizens. In the ‘Year of Senior Citizens’, LIC came out with this scheme. It provides relief due to accident or illness and option for a lifetime pension after the maturity of the policy.

The benefits will be in the form of waiver of further premium and regular payments of 5 to 10% of the sum assured every year during the term of the policy.

Officials in the department while admitting inadequacies said that the society should also come forward with welfare steps for these destitute. The government agencies can utilise their services in the vocations suited to them.



UHBVN power bills can be paid in post office
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 4
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has introduced a new scheme on an experimental basis for depositing the amount of electricity bills in the post offices from the current month in this district.

According to a report, the following post offices have been authorised to receive the amount of the electricity bills in cash only.

Murthal sub-divisions: Murthal, EC Murthal, and Bahalgarh; Ganaur Suburban Division: Ganaur, Gumar, Kheri Gujjar, Ahulana, Garhi Rajlu and Purkhas; Kharkhauda sub-division: Kharkhauda, Thana Kalan, Seohti, Khanda, Pipli Bidhlan, Rohat and Sisana; Bhatgaon sub-division: Bhatgaon and Juan; Gohana Suburban Sub division: Gohana Mandi, bus stand Gohana, Bhainswal Kalan, KG Khanpur and Mundlana; Kathura sub-division: Baroda, Kathura, and Kathura Block; Farmana sub-division: Farmana and Guhana.

These post offices are in addition to the collection centres of the UHBVN which have already been functioning in the district. This step has been taken to avoid the rush of the consumers at the collection centres and the looting incidents encountered by the Nigam employees. Each sub-division had only one collection centre which is in operation.

Sources close to the Nigam said if this scheme proves a success, it would be enforced in other districts. At present, this scheme has been introduced in the districts of Sonepat, Panchkula, Rohtak, and Jhajjar. 



Illegal buildings to be razed in board colonies
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 4
The district authorities have decided to start the work of demolishing the illegal structures and encroachments done in various housing board colonies of the town from February 10.

According to an official statement released here today, the authorities had started the work of identifying the encroachments and issuing notices to the owners.

It is stated that a week’s time had been given to the owners to remove the encroachments themselves or these would be demolished by the officials and penalty would be charged from the owners if the demolition was done by the authorities.

While an executive engineer of the Housing Board, Haryana has been made the ‘nodal officer’ for the anti-encroachment campaign, it is stated that the notices would be served by February 7 to all the defaulters.

The encroachments and illegal commercial activities have been identified in the housing board colonies located in Sector 3,7,10,18,28,29,21-C,21-D, 22, 23 and 55.

Businessmen’s get-together

Gurgaon: Gurgaon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in collaboration with Business Directory and Best Western Country Resort Club are organising a day-long get-together at Best Western Resort Club, Gurgaon on Sunday. The enterprising members of these organisations have long felt the need to provide an opportunity where the businessmen of the city could interact in an informal surroundings, said the GCCI president, Mr Arun Jain.

He added that this is a unique experiment and it is expected that this would help build up the image of Gurgaon not just as a ‘dry’ business place but also as a lively and enjoyable place where one could mix business with fun.

The city has grown by leaps and bounds during last few years and there has been an influx of entrepreneurs from all over the country apart from many first generation entrepreneurs who have decided to set up their base here. Moreover, there has also been considerable foreign investment during this period, said GCCI president. Nearly 500 persons are expected at the gathering.

The event is not formally structured but a number of avenues have been provided for various groups and individuals to come together and share moments of joy, said Mr Jain. OC

Two get life term

Jhajjar: A trial court of Mr D D Yadav sentenced two persons, accused in a murder case, to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each here today.

According to information, Surinder of Kheri Khummar village had went to Uttar Pradesh along with Subhash, his worker.

However, when he did not return for several days, his family lodged a complaint of his disappearance and suspected Subhash’s hand in it. However, the police found that Surender was killed by Baburam, a relative of Subhash, along with Ajit in Uttar Pradesh. Both the accused were sentenced to life imprisonment today. OC

New-look CBI website

New Delhi: The Director of CBI, Mr P.C. Sharma, has launched a new-look website, which contains information on Interpol, Interpol Red Corner Notices, fraud alerts, Central Forensic Science Laboratory, CBI Academy and important rulings by the Supreme Court.

The site also offers facility for the public to lodge complaints and pass on information of various crimes and criminals. Identity of the persons giving information would be kept secret. The website is http:, a CBI release said. TNS



Five highway robbers nabbed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4
With the arrest of five youths, the Delhi Police today claimed to have busted a gang of highway robbers who had let loose a reign of terror along the Delhi-Haryana-Uttar Pradesh-Rajasthan belt for the past five years.

The Special Cell received a tip-off that the suspects would gather at Jahangirpuri to target a truck. A raid was conducted and they were arrested.

The suspects had been identified as Surinder, Mohinder, Satbir, Budhraj and Bhupinder, the police said.

During interrogation, the suspects disclosed that their modus operandi was to travel on the highway in a Tata 407and park it at a roadside dhaba frequented by inter-state trucks.

At the dhaba, the five men would identify a truck ferrying expensive goods and they would then follow the truck.

At an isolated place, the truck would be flagged down and the suspects would force the occupants to drink an intoxicant. Once the victims became unconscious, they would throw the truck inmates in the fields and transfer the goods in their truck.

The goods were later sold off at low rates. Over the past five years, they had looted tyres, Cerelac, electronic goods and other cargo.

In some cases, the trucks were also driven away and later disposed of, the police said.

CBI probe sought into power scam: Delhi Pradesh BJP on Tuesday sought a CBI probe into the ‘Rs 2,000-crore electricity scam’.

It said the private contractors, who were ‘pocketing’ the money collected from the consumers in unauthorised colonies, resettlement colonies and slums, were functionaries of the Congress.

“These contractors are the functionaries of the Congress or close relatives of Congress legislators,” Delhi Pradesh BJP president Madan Lal Khurana told party sympathisers who had gathered for Chetavani (warning) Rally at Ferozeshah Kotla Grounds.

Mr Khurana said a development charge of Rs 6,000 per annum was being levied from the people and private receipts were issued for it. “I demand either the receipts should be issued by the government or refund be made immediately,” he said.

Claiming that the total scam was to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore, he alleged that the Government of NCT of Delhi was neck-deep in corruption, and scandals like this were just the tip of the iceberg. Power Minister Ajay Maken had earlier dismissed the allegations as baseless. TNS



‘Rainbow-2003’ from Feb 10 to 15
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, February 4
The University College will organise a state-level literary and cultural meet ‘Rainbow-2003’ from February 10 to 15.
This literary and cultural festival will have psycho-exhibition, social sciences declamation contest and women cell’s declamation contest on February 10; fine arts competition and commerce quiz on February 11; science exhibition and literary quiz on February 13; general knowledge quiz contest on February 14; and dance competition on February 15. Leading colleges from all over Haryana are likely to participate in the festival.

Consumer forum chief: The District and Sessions Judge, Mr G.L. Goyal, has got pre-mature retirement following his appointment as President, District Consumer Disputes Redressal forum, Hisar. He demitted his office today.

Sitar music: Sitar created strains of melody today in the Maharshi Dayanand University’s department of music. The occasion was an extension lecture of Dr Lovely Sharma, Reader of Instrumental Music of Dayalbagh University, Agra.

Dr Sharma said that students of music are students for life. Hard work, eagerness to learn and constant practice are necessary to master any musical instrument, she said.

She demonstrated Raag Bilaskhani Todi, Kajari and Raag Bhairvi on the occasion. Anil Kumar accompanied Dr Lovely Sharma on tabla and Sheetal on taanpura.

Youth killed: An unidentified youth was killed on the spot when a vehicle hit him in Meham town, 30 km from here last evening.

The Meham police registered a case under Section 279 and 304-A of the IPC in this connection.

Two held for robbery: The district police today arrested two youths who had allegedly robbed a trader of Rs 20,000 and other valuables from Babra Mohalla here on Sunday evening.

Those arrested have been identified as Jitender of Karor village and Pramod of Preet Vihar locality here. The suspects had intercepted Mr Om Prakash, a resident of Babra Mohalla and snatched the money from him near his house.



Gang offering drug-laced ‘halwa’ busted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4
The West district police today claimed to have busted a gang of dacoits who used to rob women in front of gurdwaras and TSR drivers at railway stations after offering them ‘halwa’ and other eatables laced with intoxicants.

The suspects used to stand in front of gurdwaras with halwa and tea to offer it to their targets. Their targets were women who came to the gurdwara alone. They offered them halwa and tea and followed them on the way. When the victims became unconscious, the suspects would divest them of their jewellery.

Such cases of robbery were reported from Gurdwaras Bangla Sahib, Rakab Ganj, Sis Ganj and others. A surveillance operation outside the gurdwaras yielded nothing. The main thrust of the police was in the Connaught Place area near Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.

The West district police arrested Joginder Bhatia yesterday. He used to operate along with his wife Satwant Kaur and their accomplices, Harmeet Singh, Kuldeep and Preet Pal. His interrogation led to the arrest of Harmeet Singh. With their arrest, seven such cases were worked out. The other suspects are still absconding, the police said.

They used to cheat auto drivers also by giving them drinks or eatables laced with some soporific drug. They used to deprive the victims of their valuables and drive away the TSR after the hapless victim became unconscious.



‘Health inspector’ held for taking bribe
Shiv Sharma

Bhiwani, February 4
An impersonator was caught red-handed while taking bribe from a nurse. The accused, impersonating as ‘health inspector’ on duty of the Government of India, charged the nurse at primary health centre, Pur village near Buwani Khera tehsil with reaching late on duty.

The police have also arrested a medical officer of the government hospital at Buwani Khera who was hand in glove with the accused.

According to reports, Babban Singh, prime accused, resident of Madhyapura in Bihar, had been staying with Dr Pradeep Kalra at Buwani Khera for the last three days. He had identified himself as health inspector. Babban accompanied by Dr Pradeep, inspected a PHC at Alakhpura village near Buwani Khera and went thereafter to Pur village. A nurse Darshna, who reached late on duty, was questioned by the duo and warned of suspension. She was subsequently asked to give Rs 10,000 or face termination. Darshna informed her brother Sajjan Singh about the incident.

Babban sent a message through Dr Kalra to sort out the matter just at a meagre amount of Rs 2,500.

Meanwhile, Sajjan Singh met the Deputy Commissioner, who directed to constitute a team to probe the matter. The team conducted a surprise raid and arrested the duo. Babban Singh works as surveyor with a pharmaceutical company in New Delhi. 



Inter-state gang busted, five held
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 4
With the arrest of five persons, the Sonepat police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang of criminals operating in parts of Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
According to a report, the arrested persons include a dreaded criminal Satynder who is stated to be the ring leader of the gang and he carried a reward of Rs 10,000 on his head.

The members of the gang were arrested on Saturday during a surprise raid conducted by the police in the house situated in the housing board colony of Sector 14, following an information that the culprits were hiding in it.

It is stated that the members of the gang had taken shelter in this house to evade the arrest.

They used to commit the crime in the areas of Uttar Pradesh and return to this house after crossing the inter-state bridge of the Yamuna river.

The police had been watching the activities of these criminals for the last few days and this has led to their arrest.

It is also stated that the criminals had also got an information about the police action and they were preparing to shift their hideout but were arrested.

Havaldar buried: The body of Satbir Khan, a havaldar in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force and stationed at Leh, was brought to his native village Liwaspur about 12 km from here yesterday.

The body was buried in the graveyard in accordance with the religious rites.

According to a report, Satbir Khan died of a heart attack during the duty on Friday last.

A large number of residents of the village and neighbouring areas were present on the occasion. They paid rich tributes to him.



Dreary industrial landscape? Sonepat fits the bill
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 4
The appalling civic conditions and poor infrastructure facilities in the industrial area here are not only retarding Sonepat’s industrial growth but also tarnishing the image of Indian industry abroad.

According to a report, this has resulted in the closure of 20 to 30 per cent of the units in the industrial area and the industrial estate of this city. If steps are not taken immediately to rectify it, more units may also face closure, reveal industrialists.

According to some entrepreneurs, while several sewer lines are choked, the roads are also rendered unmotorable. They are pockmarked with two to three feet deep ditches. No repair work has been done on these roads since the past three decades.

Some other entrepreneurs said it was a matter of deep concern that over the years, the government agencies seemed to have completely failed to discharge their duties. They also said the industrialists were not going to wait for long for the restoration of civic amenities in the area and they would soon go to a court of law for deciding the issue.

Many entrepreneurs blamed the General Manager of the District Industries Centre (DIC) for the mess. They also alleged that the authorities concerned had been indifferent towards them and kept harassing them on one pretext or the other for minting money. The single window system introduced by the state government had already failed, they also alleged. Some other industrialists complained that not only highly placed government officers of the Industries Department but the local officials of the department also had seldom felt inclined to visit the industrial belt to acquaint themselves with the difficulties and the problems. But they seldom forgot to summon the industrialists for the purpose of collecting various types of funds.

A similar situation persists in the industrial belt on the GT Road between Kundli village to the Haryana border. Several industrialists of the HSIDC complexes at Kundli, Rai and Bari villages complain that the authorities have failed to redress their grievances and provide facilities to them. Instead, they were being harassed on one pretext or the other with the purpose of extracting money from them, they alleged.

Leading industrialists here have demanded immediate transfers of all officials of the Industries Department as well as the HSIDC who have had a long stay here and failed abysmally to redress their grievances.



BHEL comes to IETF with ‘total solutions’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4
Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is participating in the four-day exhibition, `India Infrastructure Show - IETF 2003’, opening here tomorrow at Pragati Maidan.
Catering to most of the infrastructure sectors of the country, BHEL has exhibited its capabilities in providing `total solutions from a single source’ in its various business areas, viz power, industry, transmission, transportation, telecom, oil and gas and renewable energy sources.

The event assumes significance in view of India’s ambitious plan of capacity addition of over 1,00,000 MW by 2012. BHEL is equipped to capitalise on emerging opportunities in the power sector, having built up a strong base in providing state-of-the-art technology, financial packages and efficient customer service, through its established infrastructure and 48,000 workforce. In just three decades, since the first BHEL-built power generating set was commissioned in 1969-70, the company has taken India from a position of total dependence on imports to complete self-reliance in the manufacture of power plant equipment. Today, BHEL’s power generating sets contribute 74 per cent of the total power generated in the country.

BHEL is a major contributor of equipment and systems to industries like cement, fertilisers, refineries, petrochemicals, steel, paper and telecommunications. In addition, the non-power sector also includes supplies made to transportation and defence. Today, over 72 per cent of the Indian Railways, the second largest railway network in the world, is equipped with traction equipment built by BHEL.



Conference & expo on satellite 
broadcasting from today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 4
A three-day International Conference and Exhibition on Terrestrial and Satellite Broadcasting will be held here from tomorrow to February 7.
The mega event is being organised by the Broadcast Engineering Society (India), the apex body in the field of broadcast engineering in the country.

Leading professionals from India and abroad are attending the conference. The conference assumes significance due to the rapid growth of broadcasting in India and the immense potential it holds for the broadcast equipment manufacturing.

Its theme - Digitalisation: Roadmap for Broadcasting - is also topical and relevant as it gives a glimpse of new avenues open to the infotech and entertainment industry.

The highlight of the inaugural function is the keynote address to be delivered by Justice K. Jayachandra Reddy, Chairman, Press Council of India.

As has been the tradition, an exhibition, popularly known as the BES EXPO, is organised alongside the conference, in which latest sophisticated broadcast equipment and innovative gadgets manufactured by the Indian and foreign companies will be on display.

A large number of foreign companies will participate in the BES EXPO 2003 either directly or through their agents/dealers in India. A majority of the foreign exhibitors are from technologically advanced countries like the UK, the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Belgium, Australia Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Canada etc.

Being a major attraction, the BES EXPO 2003 will be viewed by thousands of professionals including engineers, consultants and entrepreneurs.


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